As if Dr. Seuss costumes weren't popular already, along comes the hit new movie version of the classic Horton Hears a Who and now the desire for Horton and Whoville costumes are at fever pitch. They are great costumes for kids and perfect for a group Halloween effort.
Options in Whoville Costumes
Whoville shows up in two very different forms in two beloved Dr. Seuss books; the afore-mentioned Horton and the holiday favorite How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The latter, made into a live action film and regularly staged live during the holiday season, is a particular source of inspiration for costumes. Also, the Broadway musical Seussical! featured Horton and some Whoville costumes.
So what Whoville costumes are popular and easy to buy or make? Well, there's sweet little Cindy Lou Who, a favorite of small girls everywhere. There's the Mayor of Whoville, his wife, Mama Who, Grandma and Grandpa, Boo Who and Danny Who. You can also just be an ordinary citizen of Whoville. And, although he's not exactly a welcome resident, you can certainly be the Grinch, or his faithful little dog, Max.
Buying Whoville Costumes
As popular as the costumes are, the only ones easily available at most costume shops are those for the Grinch. You can also get Horton ears or a hat, and even his clover flower. As to anything else, however, unless you're looking to rent something from a costume house that carries Seussical! costumes, you're going to have to make it yourself. If you do want to go with a Grinch or Horton costume, they are available at a number of online shops, including:
Making Whoville Costumes
This being your only real option, go through the books and look online for photos from the live shows to give yourself ideas and inspiration. On stage, for example, the Mayor of Whoville wears a dapper 19th century costume in shades of orange and yellow. His trousers are yellow, he wears an orange frock coat with yellow lapels and sports a jaunty orange bowler hat with a yellow ribbon. The mayor's wife complements this color palette in a yellow skirt and open jacket with orange trim. She wears a high-neck white blouse underneath with a broach and a straw hat with flowers and orange trim. For other citizens of Whoville, exaggeration is the key. Polka dots, bright colors and antenna show who you are. And it isn't just Cindy Lou Who who can wear a cape. An effective way to be a group of Whoville residents is for everyone to have complicated hair styles and polka dotted clothing and sport a red velvet cape with white maribou trim. Yes, boys can do this too, although a boy's cape should be shorter. For the boys who aren't sure about it, wear the cape over one shoulder like a Musketeer. Who says Whos aren't dashing?
You can also try being Cindy Lou Who from the book. In this case, you only need antenna, an outsize red hair ribbon, and a pink nightdress that balloons out but fastens snuggly at the ankles with a ruffle. You're advised to put elastic at the bottom so that whoever is wearing the costume can actually walk. The dress can be made to balloon using wire or batting. This costume works really well with a Grinch and Max. Max can be easily contrived by wearing a beige sweat suit, dog ears, black makeup on the nose, and a set of reindeer antlers. You can also wear a red ribbon around the neck.
Plan, Plan, Plan
If you really want to do it right, you're in for a lot of work, so be sure to plan your look carefully. Do it right, and everyone will know Who you are!